Here is an illuminating Wikipedia article on how, after towns were conquered by Muslim armies, their churches were converted into mosques:
According to early Muslim historians, towns that surrendered without resistance and made treaties with the Muslims were allowed to retain their churches and the towns captured by Muslims had many of their churches converted to mosques. One of the earliest examples of these kinds of conversions was in Damascus, Syria, where in 705 Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I bought the church of St. John from the Christians and had it rebuilt as a mosque in exchange for building a number of new churches for the Christians in Damascus. Overall, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (Al-Waleed’s father) is said to have transformed 10 churches in Damascus into mosques.
The process of turning churches into mosques was especially intensive in the villages where most of the inhabitants converted to Islam. The Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun turned many churches into mosques. Ottoman Turks converted nearly all churches, monasteries, and chapels in Constantinople, including the famous Hagia Sophia, into mosques immediately after capturing the city in 1453. In some instances mosques have been established on the places of Jewish or Christian sanctuaries associated with Biblical personalities who were also recognized by Islam.
In the inclusive, liberal Diocese of Huron, home to Canada’s nauseating brand of wishy-washy sub-Christian Anglicanism, the process is a little different, but the result is much the same. The diocese has voluntarily surrendered one of its churches, St. John the Evangelist – the irony of “Evangelist” in this context is surely obvious – for use as a mosque; and there is not even a hint of a marauding Muslim army on the horizon. Not yet, at least.
One of the benefits of this, the rector, Rev. Andrew Wilson tells us, is that they have now been informed what the Koran’s opinion of Jesus is: he is not the Son of God. Who knew?
The last week of May I received a call. There are now thirty Muslim families living in Leamington and they need somewhere to pray together for Ramadan, they know our
building is perfect. Skipping the many details involved in navigating rentals and other groups, we made the arrangements. A couple of dignitary visits, their council and Imam, to prepare themselves and envision how their prayers would come together and we were set.
We were invited to an opening dinner at a local complex, the people were told about where they would be going in a few minutes, their new Anglican Mosque – life imitates art, but this time it is real! With a smile best cliché I could come up with is “Little Mosque on the Marsh,” perhaps “By the Lake” as an ice-breaker to announce the news to the congregation.
Had we said no, we would not have conversations with each other, we would not be asked about our worship, or be offered the Qur’an’s understanding of Christ, or be askedabout our understanding of the same Christ. Saying yes to the Spirit leads to blessings.